Searching for a job is frustrating enough. Going on an interview and hearing nothing for weeks makes the process even worse.

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Companies could be missing out on the best candidates for open jobs by taking too long to make their hiring decisions, according to a new report from staffing firm Robert Half.

Nearly one-quarter of survey respondents (currently employed office workers) said they lose interest in a firm if they don't hear back within one week of the initial interview. Another 46 percent move on if there's no communication two weeks post-interview.

"Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and for firms trying to hire, it can make a difference between securing the candidate and losing out," said Richard Singer, director of permanent placement for Central Jersey at Robert Half International.

Nearly six-in-10 workers said the most frustrating part of the job search is the long wait after an interview to hear if they landed the job. Close to 40 percent said seven to 14 days is too long to wait from the day of the initial interview until the day an offer is extended.

"The shelf life on the best candidates is a very short period," Singer said.

According to the report, hiring is one of the most important decisions made by a company, but waiting too long often results in losing top candidates and starting the search all over again.

To improve the process for interviewees and themselves, Singer said companies should inform candidates when a final decision can be expected. If a delay is anticipated, give a phone call (not an email or text) to the candidate and offer an updated timeline.

Also, all interviews can be conducted in one or two days, rather than stretched over a long period of time, so a final decision can be made in a timely manner.

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